Recently, at Amber’s suggestion, I began reading my first (and probably only) work by Nicholas Sparks, Three Weeks With My Brother, a memoir he wrote with his brother Micah. In it, he describes phases of his life as being streams, rapids, or waterfalls. To paraphrase, streams are times when things are going smoothly and you are just cruising along, rapids are when things are starting to pick up and demand more attention from you, and the waterfalls are times when life just overwhelms you. I really liked his analogy, and started thinking if, and how, it may apply to my life, more specifically, our adventure with Asperger’s.
The more I thought about it, his analogy fit nicely with our adventure.
Before there was any hint or suspicion of Kaitlyn having Asperger’s, at least to our untrained eyes, our lives were cruising along nicely. The stream. There were some rocks to navigate, but for the most part, the water was calm. And we were certainly enjoying the calm water.
Then, we hit some small rapids. Nothing class 5 yet, but those were coming soon. This is when we first began our journey into the diagnosis of Asperger’s. The further we got into the journey, the more intense the rapids became. When we finally got the diagnosis, it appeared that we had gotten past the rapids and were heading back into the stream.
We were wrong.
After our brief stay in the stream to catch our breath, it seems like we bypassed the rapids altogether and were heading straight for the waterfall. Life was getting out of control, and our waterfall was the three-month ordeal we had with the school district. I have written frequently about that time, and will admit that it was not a fun ride. But I guess there are not many people who would enjoy an unrequested trip toward the edge of Niagara Falls. There were times when we were riding the waterfall that I thought that the ride would never be over, and I really was not having a great time after cresting the Falls.
When we finally had a resolution to Kaitlyn’s school situation, it was back to the stream. And that is where we are today. Life is just cruising along for us. Kaitlyn is in a great school with a wonderful teacher. We are involved in the Miracle League and still look forward to every Thursday night. We have a wonderful support group of friends and family, and Kaitlyn has bonded really nicely with some of the nicest kids she may ever meet.
Is another trip through the rapids in our future? Most likely. Is another trip over a waterfall ahead? Maybe, but I hope that our experiences so far in our adventure with Asperger’s has taught us important lessons. Lessons like having faith that we are making the right decisions, like knowing there are things we cannot control, and like having the faith that we are part of a bigger plan and have to trust in that plan when it makes no sense to us at all.